Sunday, January 30, 2011

Carrot Apple Winter Salad

One of my friends spends her time on the computer tracking the sun. Every so often (we share an office), I'll hear her exclaim "There's no sun in the forecast until Wednesday!" I'm pretty used to the gray of a Toronto January, but her lament about the lack of bright days made me notice the gloom more than usual this week.

Just when I was feeling down about the dim weather, we were lucky enough this weekend to have two sunny days in a row. Closing my eyes against the orange glow as I ran errands yesterday was bliss. It made me remember long summer nights drinking beer and reading on my balcony, watching the sun set over the city in a hot red haze. It made me long for the simple, childish joy I get from bare arms and legs freckling almost as I watch, bare feet on searing pavement. The sun won't last long, but I decided that a sunny salad was just the ticket for lunch today: long tangles of carrot and apple, with a slightly sweet, slightly tangy walnut and lemon dressing, greened up with plenty of fresh thyme. The colours of summer, but with winter flavours, freshened up. Winter brights to get us through until the sun comes back for good.

Ingredients:

2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned (I used a mandoline) or grated
1 eating apple, julienned or grated
1 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Instructions:

Whisk oil, lemon juice, agave, salt, pepper, and thyme together.

Pour over carrots and apple. Toss well, taste, and adjust seasoning. Add more thyme if you like.

NOTE: Last time I made this salad, I added a handful of chopped, toasted walnuts for texture and crunch. I didn't have any around this time, so I omitted them. It would probably also be fantastic with candied walnuts to play up the sweetness of the apple and the sour of the lemon.

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